ST. LOUIS -- Held scoreless one night earlier, the D-backs ambushed Mike Leake for three runs in a three-pitch span on Saturday before running away with a 7-1 win over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. The victory kept Arizona a game ahead of the Rockies in the National League Wild
ST. LOUIS -- Held scoreless one night earlier, the D-backs ambushed Mike Leake for three runs in a three-pitch span on Saturday before running away with a 7-1 win over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. The victory kept Arizona a game ahead of the Rockies in the National League Wild Card race, while the Cardinals fell short of pulling back to .500 for the first time since June 2.
Back-to-back homers by Paul Goldschmidt and J.D. Martinez pushed the D-backs ahead for good in the fourth.
"I wasn't that upset about that [pitch to Goldschmidt]," Leake said. "He's strong and he's able to do that. J.D., [I'd] probably like to take that pitch back. It was just a mistake slider that was left in a place that he can extend his hands."
Goldschmidt's two-run homer, which had to be confirmed through a replay review, sneaked just over the right-field wall to give the D-backs a 2-1 lead. Martinez then crushed Leake's 0-1 slider 466 feet for his fifth home run in eight games with Arizona.
"Offensively we did a number of things that were outstanding -- we had a really nice approach, I think we drew seven walks today, runners on base all day long, Goldy and J.D. with the back-to-back home runs," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said.
The D-backs ended up scoring their first five runs via the long ball, as Ketel Marte later keyed a four-run eighth inning with a two-run homer.
The support was more than sufficient for Zack Greinke, who settled in after a rocky first inning to complete his fourth start of at least seven innings this month. Greinke limited the Cardinals to four hits and lowered his ERA at Busch Stadium to 2.42 in eight career appearances. He improved to 7-1 when pitching the game after a D-backs loss.
• Greinke finds groove, gets D-backs on track
The Cardinals, who sit 4 1/2 games back in the NL Central, have scored just two runs in the first three games of this series.
"I wouldn't take out of perspective [that we've faced] some very good pitching," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "The last three we've seen have all thrown the ball very well against us. This guy we knew we had to take advantage of any little opportunity we had, and if we didn't, he was probably going to get going."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Not enough: The Cardinals opened the bottom of the first with three consecutive hits to race out to a 1-0 advantage against Greinke, but Arizona's All-Star starter stopped the damage there. With strikeouts of Yadier Molina and Kolten Wong, Greinke stranded runners at second and third. He allowed only one other hit through the remainder of his start, and the Cardinals went hitless with runners in scoring position the rest of the way.
"I think he just didn't get a chance to really settle in and they were jumping on some mistakes that were out over the middle of the plate," Lovullo said. "I think one of the key moments of the game was second and third with one out and there was a lot of damage control there. There was a chance that it could have been 3-0 very quickly, but he got some big outs. I think the big strikeout of Molina with one out really set the tone."
Breathing room: Unsuccessful in their attempt to pad the lead after loading the bases in the seventh, the D-backs did not squander the same opportunity in the eighth. After issuing a leadoff walk to Daniel Descalso, Cardinals reliever Kevin Siegrist served up a 354-foot blast to Marte, who has now homered three times in his last 28 at-bats. Miscommunication by infielders Jedd Gyorko and Paul DeJong helped Arizona to two more runs in the inning.
"As we got to know him through Spring Training I didn't know exactly what he could offer when it came to the power aspect, but it's perfectly clear right now," Lovullo said of Marte, who came over from the Mariners in an offseason trade. "He's squaring the ball up, he's got great carry, he's got great lift and it's a strong body that can do special things."
"Fortunately we're still in this thing. The opportunity is still there to get better and to be able to be in this thing for the next two months, but it's a matter of getting going." -- Leake
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Cardinals set a Busch Stadium III attendance record with an announced crowd of 48,052. That figure surpassed all previous attendance marks -- even those from the postseason and All-Star Game -- at the 12-year-old ballpark.
AFTER FURTHER REVIEW
• The umpires initiated a review of Goldschmidt's home run, which was confirmed after a look at replay. The 371-foot blast hit just above the top of the right-field wall before bouncing back onto the field.
• A successful Cardinals challenge erased a run that would have put Arizona ahead, 4-1, in the seventh. Instead, it was ruled that first baseman Matt Carpenter did keep his foot on the base as he took a throw from second baseman Wong and therefore completed the inning-ending double play.
• The D-backs asked for a crew-chief review in the ninth on Marte's fly ball down the left-field line. The call on the field was that it was foul, and after a brief review, the call stood.
D-backs:Taijuan Walker will start the series finale on Sunday (11:15 a.m. MST). The right-hander will be facing the Cardinals for the first time in his career. He is 4-2 with a 2.70 ERA in eight starts on the road this year.
Cardinals: In what could be his last start for St. Louis, Lance Lynn will take the mound in Sunday's series finale amid speculation that he'll be dealt before Monday's non-waiver Trade Deadline. First pitch is scheduled for 1:15 p.m. CT. Lynn is 4-0 with a 2.94 ERA in his career against Arizona. Preview >>
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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter, and Facebook.
Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.